AL 7002 I Robot
Produced by Alan Parsons
Released on June 1977
US CHART POSITION #9 . . . PLATINUM RECORD . . . UK CHART POSITION #30
Find it at GEMM
AL 7002 cover
[high resolution scan]
 

W arning! Warning! Dark side of the robot’s moon approaching. (Oil bet you didn’t see that coming.) Alan Parsons does a great job of replicating the sound of Pink Floyd’s masterpiece. What’s missing is the Pink heart. You’ll find a few dark corridors (none darker than “Total Eclipse”), but I Robot’s prime directive (I suspect) is to sell records to button-downed hippies. Parsons, of course, was a recording engineer whose work with Pink Floyd and The Beatles represented a different sort of musical pedigree. Here was a master of immaculate sound, a craftsman rather than a creative type. Or so the stereotype went. As a result, it’s tempting to see I Robot as style over substance, progressive pandering of the worst sort. But in a world where music is a commodity, I Robot is a terrific product. In a sense, the success of bands like Alan Parsons Project and Supertramp signalled that progressive rock had entered the mainstream musical lexicon. Looking back, I’m not sure that either Parsons or Eric Woolfson had much interest in progressive rock; they were communicators, storytellers, songwriters. The music told a story (one that, incidentally, would seem to have little to do with Isaac Asimov’s novel), rendered as a hybrid of electronic dreamscape and rock musical. The musicians were simply players, the singers members of a revolving cast, with Parsons and Woolfson in the roles of composer and librettist. In fact, if Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice had sought to make a Dark Side of the Moon, you could expect it to sound a lot like I Robot. Mostly what separates Robot and Moon is the difference between a ‘70s classic and a timeless classic. “I Wouldn’t Want To Be With You” loses some of its edge in translation, “Don’t Let It Show” never had any to begin with. However, this album proved the Parsons concept could really work, which makes it something of a cornerstone in the progressive pop canon.

AL 7002 inner gatefold AL 7002 back cover 5301-7002 cover
AL 7002 inner gatefold AL 7002 back cover 5301-7002 cover

TRACK LISTING

  1. I ROBOT    6:06
  2. I WOULDN'T WANT TO BE LIKE YOU    3:19
  3. SOME OTHER TIME    4:05
  4. BREAKDOWN    3:50
  5. DON'T LET IT SHOW    4:21
  6. THE VOICE    5:21
  7. NUCLEUS    3:35
  8. DAY AFTER DAY (THE SHOW MUST GO ON)    3:43
  9. TOTAL ECLIPSE    (Andrew Powell)    3:05
  10. GENESIS CH. 1, V. 32    3:37

    CD reissue bonus tracks
  11. BOULES
  12. BREAKDOWN (DEMO)
  13. I WOULDN'T WANT TO BE LIKE YOU (ROUGH MIX)
  14. DAY AFTER DAY (ROUGH MIX)
  15. NAKED ROBOT

    All tracks written by Eric Woolfson and Alan Parsons unless noted

CREDITS

IAN BAIRNSON -- electric guitars, acoustic guitars, additional vocals
B.J. COLE -- steel guitar
JOHN LEACH -- cimbalon and kantele
DUNCAN MACKAY -- keyboards
ALAN PARSONS -- acoustic guitars, keyboards, Projectron, vocoder, additional vocals, engineer
DAVID PATON -- bass, acoustic guitars, additional vocals
ANDREW POWELL -- conductor, orchestral and choir arrangements
STUART TOSH -- drums and percussion, additional vocals
ERIC WOOLFSON -- keyboards, Projecttron, vocoder, additional vocals, executive producer
Stuart Calver -- additional vocals
Alan Clarke -- vocals
The English Chorale -- additional vocals
Steve Harley -- vocals
Jack Harris -- vocals
Bob Howes -- choirmaster
David Katz -- orchestral contractor
The New Philharmonia Chorus -- additional vocals
Smokey Parsons -- additional vocals
John Perry -- additional vocals
Tony Rivers -- additional vocals
Peter Straker -- vocals
Dave Townshend -- vocals
Hilary Western -- additional vocals
Jaki Whitren - -vocals
Lenny Zakatek -- vocals
Hipgnosis -- cover design and photography
George Hardie -- robot design
Richard Mannin -- illustration

return to ALAN PARSONS PROJECT discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US/CAN/ISR June 1977 Arista LP/CS AL/ATC 7002 gatefold cover
UK August 1977 Arista LP SPARTY 1012 gatefold cover
AUSL 1977 Arista LP/CS AL/TCAL-7002 gatefold cover
FRA 1977 Arista LP 2C 068 99168  
GER 1977 Arista LP 201.148.320 gatefold cover
ITA 1977 Arista LP 3C 064 99168 gatefold cover
JPN 1977 Arista LP 20RS-35  
JPN 1977 Arista LPPRO 25RS-70 gatefold cover
SAF 1977 Arista LP ASTJ(D)35 gatefold cover
SPA 1977 Arista LP 2011481 gatefold cover
US   Mobile Fidelity LP MFQR1-084  
BRA 1988 Arista LP 1408019  
US   Arista CD/CS ARCD/AC8-8040  
RUS   CD-Maximum CDX 71 repackaged w. EVE
US March 20, 2007 Sony Legacy CDX 681524 digital remaster w. bonus tracks


SUGGESTED READING

Though it may not have much to do with the album, you can't go wrong with Asimov. To track down a used copy of I, Robot, visit GEMMbooks.

 

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